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Author Topic: Crime On Their Hands (1948)  (Read 4277 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Crime On Their Hands (1948)
« on: June 12, 2015, 10:02:32 PM »
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  • This thing called having a life on a Friday night reared it's ugly head again.  This has to cease.  Review tomorrow morning.

    Edit:  OK, it's Saturday morning, back to normal, review time!


    http://www.threestooges.net/filmography/episode/112
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040255/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BfOBPePAT3Q

    Watch CRIME ON THEIR HANDS in the link above



          I thank you all for welcoming me to your computer screens for 112 weeks! I can't believe we've made it this far.  From a DVD perspective, this concludes volume five.  I just took out volume six and put it by my TV, where it will be staying for months, and looking at the list of shorts coming up, I smiled.  A few clunkers, but the majority of the upcoming shorts I really enjoy and it signifies my favorite part of the Shemp era - the part where the budgets are lower to give the Shemp shorts a more distinct feel, but not so low we are robbed of new footage.  I know there's controversy about this, so it should be fun.

          Now for this week's short, CRIME ON THEIR HANDS.  This is one of those shorts I always say I enjoy, but never rank as high as others.  Then when I watch it, I realize I like it better than I remember.  I like it when this happens, as overall, I find this short totally enjoyable.

          First, for the realism.  Yes, there's a real death portrayed in this one.  The guy in the phone booth giving the tip about the Punjab Diamond gets gunned down, and I've read people say that this does not belong in a comedy and brings down the mood.  I can understand the opinion, but I disagree.  For my threshold, the scene first off is done excellently from a cinematic point of view, I love the close up shot, but as far as the comedy, well, the scene is done early on, quickly, and with a character I have no attachment to.  This isn't like the Stooges themselves being tortured and subsequently blown away in HALF-SHOT SHOOTERS.  So to me, a well filmed scene that gives the film some slight legitimacy as a comedy with a noir/gangster setting.  Nothing wrong with that.

          Thematically, this is another short where the boys are blue collared workers aspiring to a higher paying and more glamorous position in life, here it's janitors wanting to be reporters, and all they know about reporting comes from the movies.  The part where Shemp acts like a reporter and tells Moe how the reporter always yells at the boss is a highlight.  Larry is the more subservient one here, as he will do whatever Moe says, and this also leads to my all time favorite Moe line before a slap.  He slaps Larry and tells him it was for absolutely nothing!  Moe doesn't need an excuse this time, and has never been more honest about it.

          I've stated in the past sometimes a bit of realism heightens Stooge humor, and there's a good example of that here.  Yes, Moe assaulting Larry with a brush is funny, but it's even funnier when done in the presence of a beautiful lady like Christine McIntyre.  Check out her reaction when Moe's assaulting Larry, she's aghast, which makes the scene even funnier in my view.  Another Christine related highlight for me is when she sits next to Shemp and Shemp touches her arm.  As he does this, he shakes and makes a little sound, as if he never touched a woman before.  Another funny, subtle little bit with tons of context.

          Overall, this short just rules.  Every performer is in top shape.  Christine is her usual combination of beauty, humor, and acting chops; Kenneth MacDonald is playing one of his better roles, as he is almost in glee as he chews the scenery trying to get that diamond out of Shemp, and Cy Schindell gives us one last great role as the villain sidekick.  Check out the great look on his face after the gorilla knocks him out, it's facial expressions like that which is why I love Cy.  Cy continues a tradition of filming his last Stooge role eleven months before his death and having it released after the fact.  He died, way, way too young and this is the point in the story where we say goodbye.  The guy was rarely given a major role, like so many other people who appears in these shorts, but unlike those others, Cy always made the best of the situation whenever he was on the screen. 

          I watched this on a Saturday morning instead of a Friday night and I'm glad I did, as it feels like perfect Saturday morning fare.

    10/10


    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 12:54:43 AM »
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  • Hmmmmmmm ....  [3stooges]. .....  [pie] ...
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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 04:31:44 AM »
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  • CRIME ON THEIR HANDS is a nice little short that gives the Stooges a vehicle to allow incompetency win out.  The premise is simple: the boys are rookies in a newspaper office waiting to get their first chance at reporting and they take it upon themselves to solve the mystery.  You can't have a hero if no one steps forward to try to save the day, right?

    Kenneth MacDonald, of course, plays the slimy, cold-hearted villain.  He is smooth as silk, as always.

    Christian McIntyre does a good job of playing the gunman's moll.  Another treatment to beauty given to us.

    This is Cy Schindell's final role with the Stooges before he passed away.  It is indeed evident in scenes just how much makeup is being used to hide his illness.  God love him he kept acting until the last day so his family would have enough without him.

    This is also the one and only appearance for Charles Wilson, but his role is so insignificant I chalk it up as trivia.

    Now this is more about Shemp here.  He gets to be the perfect bumbling moron: dumping tables, eating a diamond, and he treats it all as dumb luck.
    But monkeys are a no-no.  I hate monkeys, especially this overused gorilla suit.  They add nothing to the short except some intellectually insulting humor.  Monkeys are a minus-1 point, and thus I give this: 9/10.


    Severely edited... I combined CRIME ON THEIR HANDS and HOT ICE in this review  [3stooges]
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    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 05:09:00 AM »
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  • Having watched this one again recently, I have to put it up there as one of my favorites--maybe not in my personal Top Ten as far as Shemp episodes go, but great regardless. The only problem I have with Crime is trying to figure out what category to put it in--I think this ranks as a "detective themed" short, but in reality, the stooges are janitors, posing as reporters who the crooks mistake for detectives (whew)...

    At any rate, regardless of what category this falls into, it's a great short. Love "stop the presses" and Shemp's turn as an angry reporter slapping the boss--the boss being Moe of course.

    As for the gorilla, I'm usually one who doesn't care much for men in gorilla costumes, but I'll gladly make an exception here and much later with Spooks!--besides, that scene where the gorilla is tossing the bad guys around--or rather tossing dummies through the air--is just plain funny. Great ending too (I helped)...

    9 out of 10....
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 08:48:33 AM »
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  • Review now edited in above.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 10:21:40 AM »
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  • Paying attention, I don't believe I've seen this short before, actually...
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 10:57:09 AM »
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  • Cy continues a tradition of filming his last Stooge role eleven months before his death and having it released after the fact.  He died, way, way too young and this is the point in the story where we say goodbye.  The guy was rarely given a major role, like so many other people who appears in these shorts, but unlike those others, Cy always made the best of the situation whenever he was on the screen. 

    This is also the one and only appearance for J.L. Cameron, but his role is so insignificant I chalk it up as trivia.

    But also interesting trivia, PaulPayne, for both Cy AND Charles C. Wilson (J.L.) filmed their roles, then passed before the short's release (CRIME was released Dec 1948; Cy passed in Aug, CCW passed all the way back in Jan of that year).
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #7 on: June 13, 2015, 11:26:35 AM »
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  • Whoops!  I though J.L. was the actor's name and Charles was the character's name!  I had them reversed!

    This was also the final unique roles for: Lester Allen (his only Stooge role, passed away before HOT ICE remake was made), George Lloyd, Jimmy Aubrey (only Stooge role), Budd Fine, and Ray Corrigan (the gorilla in this and other Stooge shorts).
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #8 on: June 13, 2015, 12:14:59 PM »
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  • This is one of those Shemp shorts that is every bit as good as a good Curly short.  Everybody is at the top of his or her game.  Even Larry has a great scene in the cage.  Very enjoyable all the way through.  Too bad that with an episode this good, it doesn't warrant much discussion, everybody is pretty much in agreement.  You'd like to be able to talk about the good ones ad infinitum, but it's the crappy ones that generate more discussion.  Oh, well, life ain't fair.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #9 on: June 13, 2015, 01:17:51 PM »
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  • I forgot to make mention of that great scene with Moe & Larry trapped in the closet and then Larry in the gorilla cage--so many great lines, like Larry grabbing Moe; "how is it Moe, pretty tough."

    And then Moe saying "What's the matter little boy, afraid to go buy yourself? Then I'll take you by the hand." Also enjoyed Larry pleading "Moe you got to listen to me."

    Yep, this short really kicks butt...


    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #10 on: June 13, 2015, 07:00:58 PM »
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  • Once again, in this short I have an eccentric choice of a favorite bit. It occurs after the gorilla thrusts Larry through the wall back into the closet for the second time,  causing him to jostle Moe again. As he makes his second vain attempt to inform Moe of what is going on, Moe brings the hammer that he is holding down on Larry's head. Larry's utterance becomes: "Moe! There's a-- [CLANG!] -- [continues groggily:] there's a big thing!" One of my favorite Larry moments.

    Like Shemp_Diesel, I also treasure the moment when the gorilla goes to town on the two criminals in the form of dummies that get flung into the air. One of them lets out a yell (that is, has such a sound dubbed in) before crashing into the wall. It does clash with the dignity that Kenneth MacDonald is ordinarily allowed to maintain as a consistent attribute in almost all his roles, but I'll let that pass for the sake of the cheap laugh I get out of seeing dummies thrown around.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #11 on: June 13, 2015, 07:05:10 PM »
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  • Speaking of cast members, Jimmy Aubrey makes his only Columbia Stooge appearance here (he was also in SOUP TO NUTS, of all things).  Ironically, the last Laurel and Hardy film I just reviewed last weekend, THAT'S MY WIFE, which is 19 years earlier, also features Jimmy Aubrey...in his only appearance with Stan and Ollie.

    Offline Shemp_Diesel

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #12 on: June 13, 2015, 07:09:28 PM »
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  • Something else I forgot to mention in previous posts. Christine McIntyre in one of her more devilish roles, as I've said before, she can play the villainess as well as playing the heroine--that last mint was it.


     
    Now you ask me if I believe a man can become a wolf. Well, if you mean can he take on the physical characteristics of an animal, no, it's fantastic. However, I do believe that most anything can happen to a man in his own mind.

    Offline Dr. Hugo Gansamacher

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #13 on: June 13, 2015, 07:24:05 PM »
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  • Something else I forgot to mention in previous posts. Christine McIntyre in one of her more devilish roles, as I've said before, she can play the villainess as well as playing the heroine--that last mint was it.

    Her belting of the line "Muscles! Dapper!" is also pretty good.

    Offline Kopfy2013

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #14 on: June 14, 2015, 10:18:46 AM »
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  • Funny short. Very entertaining.  Shemp is at his best when he can ramble on. "Stop the presses!"

    Larry seems really engaged. The supporting cast all were good. I will give this a 9.
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    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #15 on: July 05, 2015, 06:08:18 PM »
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  • A contender for my favorite Shemp line, as he's popping the mints into his mouth (right before he grabs the gem): "With oranges, it's much harder."

    Just how he says it so casually and randomly and to no one in particular just makes me laugh.
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Woe-ee-Woe-Woe80

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #16 on: December 06, 2017, 09:20:53 PM »
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  • I do admit this short used to fall under the "good" category for me, now after watching it tonight it's starting to be up there with my favorite Shemp shorts, I also felt this short was one of Larry's funniest performances and he seems to get the brunt of Moe's wrath and anger more than Shemp, Larry's scenes in the cage is hilarious along with Moe's reaction to Larry being thrown out of the cage!

    I give this short a 9/10 and it does seem to get better and funnier with each viewing.

    Offline Percy Pomeroy

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    Re: Crime On Their Hands (1948)
    « Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 01:39:59 PM »
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  • 9/10. I concur with everything that's been said. "With oranges, it's much harder." is pure Shempism. I wonder if that line was ad-libbed.

    Did anyone else think that it was funny that cold blooded killer, Muscles, gets queasy when Moe is jamming the ice tongs down Shemp's throat? On the other hand, he's okay with cutting into Shemp's chest to retrieve the diamond. In fact, he's beaming at the thought.